what is tefnut the goddess of

Diary of an OCW Music Student, Week 4: Circular Pitch Systems and the Triad. In the creation myth Ra embraced his shadow, and put his seed into his own mouth then spat out the newly formed Shu and Tefnut. Married to her twin brother Shu, she is mother of Nut, the sky and Geb, the earth. Temples dedicated to her were not so common in ancient Egypt. You can also change some of your preferences. Tef is also a word that means to spit, therefore her name could be a pun on her birth. As a goddess of death, she was one of the judges that determined whether a soul was fit to go into the afterlife or not. In this role of hers, many Egyptians took to associating her with Ma’at, the goddess of law, order and justice. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. Her worship was widespread; particularly in Leontopolis (May-ta-hut), she was worshiped in her lion form. Because these cookies are strictly necessary to deliver the website, you cannot refuse them without impacting how our site functions. This story may indicate something about how her rituals were celebrated by the Egyptian people. credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level. We may request cookies to be set on your device. In almost all the stories about her birth, the underlying theme seems to be the asexual form of reproduction. Akhenaten's mother, Tiye was depicted wearing a similar headdress, and identifying with Hathor-Tefnut. Also known as the key of life, the ankh was an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol for life or breath of life. Services. credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. According to Egyptian mythology, she was created from the spit of the cosmic creator Atum-Ra, along with her twin brother Shu, god of dry air. How Do I Use Study.com's Assign Lesson Feature? Famous ancient Egyptian royals such as Tiye (Akhenaten’s mother) and Nefertiti often associated themselves with this goddess. Originally being a lunar deity, Tefnut took on the role of being the Goddess of Moisture, Humidity, Water, Dew, Mist and Rain. As they'd seen in their own history, entire dynasties could fall when the waters dried up. And so Shu was charged with the eternal burden of lifting his daughter, the Sky, above his son, the Earth. There can be no life without water, so it's unsurprising to learn that Tefnut was seen as one of the oldest deities in the pantheon. In some cases, Tefnut gave a hand to her husband/brother Shu in holding up the sky (Nut). Tefnut was an ancient Egyptian goddess of rain, moisture, dew, water and fertility. During the reign of Akenaten when many of the old gods were rejected, Tefnut and Shu remained in favour and Akhenaten and Nefertiti were often depicted as the twin lion gods. There are a number of variants to the myth of the creation of the twins Tefnut and Shu. She is wife of Shu, god of the Air and forms part of the Ennead of Heliopolis. You can read about our cookies and privacy settings in detail on our Privacy Policy Page. While this original eye was gone, he got another one. Their grandchildren included Osiris, Isis, Nephthys, and Set, so Tefnut was genealogically connected to a number of important figures. Tefnut – Ancient Egyptian goddess of water, moisture and rain. She is an important figure in the Egyptian culture because she was the one that brought rain and prevented drought. You may change your settings at any time. Decisions Revisited: Why Did You Choose a Public or Private College? So widespread was her worship that the city was sometimes called ‘The House of Tefnut’, Tags: Ancient Egyptian godsAncient Egyptian religionRaShuTefnut, Your email address will not be published. “This is Shu with Tefnut, the two who have made the gods, begat the gods, established the gods.” – The Pyramid Texts, Utterances 301. Get access risk-free for 30 days, This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. Even the pharaoh had to undergo an important purification ritual by bathing in a deep, stone pool before he could enter the sacred site. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal Her face is sometimes used in a double headed form with that of her brother Shu on collar counterpoises. That's called the Ankh, and it's one of the most important and powerful symbols in Egyptian mythology. The Egyptians knew what could happen if their precious water left them alone in the desert. She was known as both the left (moon) and the right (sun) “Eyes of Ra” and represented moisture (as a lunar goddess) and dryness (or the absence of moisture, as a solar goddess). She … Egypt was left in dryness and terror. And brother and sister were born - that is Shu and Tefnut. [12], She was worshiped with Shu as a pair of lions in Leontopolis in the Nile Delta. [4], Like most Egyptian deities, including her brother, Tefnut has no single ideograph or symbol. with the Great One behind me In addition to her numerous traits and powers, Tefnut was also associated with the moon. I hope you enjoyed this page on The Egyptian Goddess Tefnut. {{courseNav.course.topics.length}} chapters | She is an important figure in the Egyptian culture because she was the one that brought rain and prevented drought. She was also strongly associated with both the moon and the sun. This version contains a play on words, the tef sound which forms the first syllable of the name Tefnut also constitutes a word meaning "to spit" or "to expectorate". Tefnut family tree | Tefnut is famous for being a member of the nine Ennead gods  of Heliopolis in ancient Egyptian religion. imaginable degree, area of Surprisingly, she is not the only one. Tefnut (tfnwt) is a deity of moisture, moist air, dew and rain in Ancient Egyptian religion. Clearly, there was a very real consequence to upsetting Tefnut. Read on to discover the important myths surrounding Tefnut’s birth story, worship and powers. She was thus revered as not only the mother of the gods, but also sustainer of life. Being the so wise and very soft-spoken, Thoth was able to persuade the goddess to return to Egypt. If you do not want that we track your visist to our site you can disable tracking in your browser here: We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps and external Video providers. A cookie which helps me track how many visitors come to my site and what pages they look at. This story may have originally referred to Anhur (also known as Onuris, who is associated with Shu ) and his wife Menhet (who also took leonine form). Tefnut (Tefenet, Tefnet) was an ancient Egyptian goddess of moisture, but was strongly associated with both the moon and the sun. [6] Pyramid Text 527 says, "Atum was creative in that he proceeded to sneeze while in Heliopolis. So to speak. In Heliopolis (Iunu, On) and Thebes (Waset) she was generally described as the daughter of the creator god (Amun, Atum or Ra), the sister-wife of Shu, and the mother of Geb and Nut. She shared this role with a number of other goddesses including Sekhmet, Hathor, Mut, Bast, Isis, Wadjet and Nekhbet. Following her return, Egyptians started depicting her with a head of a lioness. As the goddess of water and rain, she was revered for her role in making the land of Egypt fertile and prosperous. If you did, please share it with anyone else you think might like it. Tefnut’s name when translated to English is “That Water”. As a water goddess in a desert civilization, Tefnut was more directly responsible for maintaining life than nearly any other deity. She took all the moisture away with her while blowing smoke and fire from her eyes and nostrils. Tefnut – Ancient Egyptian goddess of water, moisture and rain Tefnut is generally depicted as woman with a lioness’ head. Tefnut was an ancient Egyptian goddess of rain, moisture, dew, water and fertility. The fertile land soon dried up and the people suffered. Sometimes she was depicted solely as a lioness, still wearing the solar disk with the uraeus. Do College Degrees Transfer to Other Countries? Now, the story of her creation is quite interesting. The other frequent depiction is as a lioness, but Tefnut can also be depicted as fully human. As a result, nobody was actually allowed into her temple except the priestesses and the pharaoh himself. Tefnut was generally depicted as a lioness or a woman with a lion’s head. [1] She is the sister and consort of the air god Shu and the mother of Geb and Nut. As a matter fact, archaeologists are yet to discover any worship structure specifically in honor of Tefnut. Study.com has thousands of articles about every Tefnut area of control included moisture, heaven, hell, time, justice, and order.

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